Elite 11 2013: Power Ranking Top 2014 QBs Following Star-Studded Competition
The Elite 11 is the premier quarterback competition and evaluation period in college football recruiting, and with its results before us, it's time to update our 2014 quarterback rankings.
A few weeks ago, we here at Bleacher Report released our top 10 2014 quarterback recruit rankings. They were based from tape study of each respective quarterback recruit.
To be clear, as an evaluator it would be unwise to completely throw out or change rankings because of a competition and camp period that lasts only a few days. Events like The Opening and the Elite 11 do provide recruits a chance to respond to high-level competition and show off some of the finer points of their skill set, but nothing replaces putting on the pads and playing in a real, live football game. Also, nothing replaces film study.
It would also be unfair to judge recruits based on an isolated camp scenario. True evaluation is done over time and accounts for many different factors.
That said, Trent Dilfer and his staff are the pros of quarterback evaluation so to disregard their rankings would be foolish.
Based upon their evaluation (per the Elite 11 Twitter handle) of the Elite 11 in combination with previous tape study, some quarterbacks moved into the top 10 of our rankings while others fell out.
Here's a fresh look at the top 10 quarterback recruits in the nation:
Note: Tape study done on film provided on each recruit's respective 247Sports interest list. Information and star rankings courtesy of 247Sports.com and the 247Sports Composite ratings. Quotes from Trent Dilfer via this report from Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com.
10. David Blough, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 180 pounds
Hometown: Carrollton, Texas
School: Creekview High School
Previously Ranked by B/R: Not Ranked
Committed to Purdue on 6/15/13
David Blough benefited from an incredible showing at the Elite 11. He finished as the No. 6 quarterback at the competition, and that catapulted him into our top 10.
He previously wasn't even in the top 10, so that's a huge jump.
Here's Trent Dilfer on Blough, per Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com: "David is so fiercely competitive. He's so determined to be the best he possibly can be. He doesn't let the pressure of that weigh him down."
To say that Blough is underrated would be an understatement. Like many of these quarterbacks, he's athletic and can throw while moving around. He can sit in the pocket and sling the football to receivers on a line, but he can also bootleg out, keep eyes on his routes and make big throws on the run.
He came into the Elite 11 underrated, but that won't be the case any longer.
9. Drew Barker, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 210 pounds
Hometown: Hebron, Ky.
School: Conner Senior High School
Previously Ranked by B/R: No. 6
Committed to Kentucky on 5/10/13
He has a strong arm, great accuracy and top-notch athleticism. Barker can make plays in the pocket, but he can also take off, get upfield quickly and pick up big-time yards with his feet.
8. Jacob Park, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 202 pounds
Hometown: Goose Creek, S.C.
School: Stratford High School
Elite 11 Finish: No. 5
Committed to Georgia on 6/14/13
Jacob Park is another quarterback who worked his way into the Bleacher Report rankings with a good showing at the Elite 11. He finished ranked No. 5 and received some high praise. Our own Marc Kohn tweeted that he believed Park was the most consistent passer in the Elite 11.
Park is certainly a good passer, but he also has great athleticism. He runs a 4.70 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports, and he'll be able to make plays with his feet or by throwing on the run.
7. Sean White, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 204 pounds
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
School: University School of Nova South
Elite 11 Finish: No. 1
Previously Ranked by B/R: Not Ranked
247Sports Prediction: Wisconsin—100 percent (via his 247Sports Crystal Ball)
Bleacher Report Prediction: Wisconsin
There's a lot to like about Sean White. He has good size, but he can also move around in the pocket and throw on the run. He's poised, especially under pressure. He keeps his eyes downfield, and he can make big-time throws.
His vision really allowed him to stand out at the Elite 11 and seven-on-seven tournaments, and that's an extremely underrated trait for a quarterback.
He went from a 3-star recruit to a 3-star recruit on everybody's radar. It will be interesting to see how he progresses from his huge Elite 11 showing. White has a visit scheduled to Wisconsin on July 8, according to his 247Sports timeline.
6. Jerrod Heard, Dual-Threat QB
Weight: 190 pounds
Hometown: Denton, Texas
School: John H. Guyer High School
Elite 11 Finish: No. 4
Committed to Texas on 8/14/12
He has explosive potential, though he will need to put on just a little more weight.
I was concerned about Jerrod coming in. I didn't know how he would handle this and the pressure he would be [facing] throwing the ball as much as we ask guys to do. But he was the biggest surprise through the first two days.
5. Deshaun Watson, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Gainesville, Ga.
School: Gainesville High School
Previously Ranked by B/R: No. 3
Committed to Clemson on 2/1/12
He can make plays with his arm or with his feet, and he's balanced with his approach to the quarterback position. Even though he can run, he takes his time and goes through his reads, using his athleticism and speed only as a last-resort option.
Watson dropped a few spots in the rankings, but only because a few other quarterbacks moved up.
4. Keller Chryst, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 215 pounds
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
School: Palo Alto High School
Elite 11 Finish: No
Committed to Stanford on 6/28/13
According to the 247Sports Composite ratings, Keller Chryst is the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the nation and a 5-star recruit. That being said, he did not make it into the Elite 11.
As stated in the introduction, it would be unfair to judge a quarterback off one good or bad camp, so Chryst still finds a place in our top five. He has the look of a big-time quarterback, and he's extremely accurate. He has a natural throwing motion and will be able to make any throw asked of him at the college level.
It will be interesting to see how Chryst will bounce back from this.
3. Will Grier, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 180 pounds
Hometown: Davidson, N.C.
School: Davidson Day School
Elite 11 Finish: No. 3
Previously Ranked by B/R: No. 4
Committed to Florida on 12/19/12
Will Grier has the potential to be an excellent quarterback at Florida, especially if he bulks up ever so slightly. He already has great height and length, and that allows him to release the ball at its highest point and get zip behind his throw.
His upside is extremely high.
2. David Cornwell, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 230 pounds
Hometown: Norman, Okla.
School: Norman North High School
Elite 11 Finish: No
Previously Ranked by B/R: No. 1
He still has tremendous size and a great arm. He can still sling the ball down the field, and he can still throw on the run.
Oh, and he's still committed to Alabama.
Cornwell will be fine.
1. Kyle Allen, Pro-Style QB
Weight: 185 pounds
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
School: Desert Mountain High School
Previously Ranked by B/R: No. 7
Committed to Texas A&M on 6/3/13
As of the Elite 11, Kyle Allen is the best quarterback recruit in the nation. He was underrated in our original rankings, but Allen has worked hard to find his spot among the elite recruits in the nation.
Allen is an extremely accurate thrower with great pocket presence and awareness. He can literally pick apart a defense, but he also has a nice arm too.
Here's what Dilfer had to say about Allen, per VanHaaren's report, "Everything he does is better than good. He's 'Mr. Consistency.'"
Finishing No. 2 in the Elite 11 really boosted his stock in our eyes, considering the competition. That shows a level of confidence, poise and competitiveness. He could be the perfect quarterback to eventually replace Johnny Manziel.
Kyle Football, anybody?